76% of Michigan restaurant workers are out of work due to the coronavirus, according to report

by

comment
SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock

The coronavirus and the economic shut-down to stop its spread have had a massive impact on Michigan's restaurant and bar employees, according to a new report.

The report, from the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA), found that an estimated 76% of Michigan's bar and restaurant employees, or more than 249,000 people, are out of work since the crisis started in March.



Additionally, 55% of restaurants have closed, with 53% temporarily and 2% permanently. (Another 4% said they would likely be closing permanently in the next month.) Meanwhile, 96% of restaurant operators reported lower sales in the first 10 days of April compared with last year, with an average decline in sales of 77%. The MRLA estimates the state's restaurants will lose $1.2 billion in sales in April — more than double the losses for March.

“The prolonged closure of Michigan’s economy, while challenging for us all, has taken a particularly heavy toll on the state’s hospitality industry, which continues to suffer untenable losses,” MRLA President & CEO Justin Winslow said in an emailed statement to the Detroit Free Press. “Collectively, we are 18,000 private businesses that employ one in eight Michiganders and generate nearly 10% of the state’s revenue. The hospitality industry is simply too big to fail in Michigan."



On Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced she would likely extend Michigan's stay-at-home order as the virus continues to ravage the state, though she has not yet said for how long. Michigan has the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the nation.

So many restaurants, so little time. Sign up for our weekly food newsletter delivered every Friday morning for the latest Detroit dining news.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.